Be careful to qualify the information you acquire from others because it just might set you up for failure. You will be surprised how easily influenced people are by information that they accept without ever validating or substantiating its authenticity. And, even if the information is true, your question should be, “Does this information apply to me?” The problem with this world is that too many people think alike. Far too many people are coerced into thinking like the other fellow. Moreover, it does not take much for this to happen. People involuntarily inject their thoughts into those they have gained influence over. Generally, people do not think about this until it is brought to their attention. Nevertheless, this happens too many times.
Countless companies today profess to seek employees who think “outside the box,” which is an expression that has become popular over the last fifteen years or more. However, there are mitigating circumstances about this popular cliché and not too many people who can find conformity as to what it is. The closest way of defining or describing this phrase is by saying that it is at its core, creativity. Creativity in this case could simply be finding new ways to solve old problems. However, companies want more than solution-oriented techniques; they want growth analysis that is perpetuated with proven methods that is ever adjusting in an ever changing economy. The survival of businesses today is going to take breaking ordinariness or routine and stretching beyond its industry. Experts in the same field are simply people married to methods. Experts are usually stuck in the mud and are unwilling to move beyond old standards.
I was recently talking to a young college student that mentioned his apprehension about a test that other students had informed him was so difficult to pass, that even the professor boasted of his test stats. There is nothing more discomforting than to receive information from your college professor on how seventy percent of his students flunked his first test. Most likely, seventy percent of the students that took this test were influenced by someone who most likely had failed. Yet, the other thirty percent paid no attention to the erroneous information and rose to the occasion, challenged the professor’s failure stats, and passed with excellence. The people who gave into the information about how difficult the test was, most likely came out of the test classroom demoralized, thus, validating their story.
Someone’s bad news doesn’t have to become yours. People seek to influence others, especially when it comes to someone attempting something they have failed at. When someone communicates to you their experience about a particular occurrence…good, bad, or indifferent, you are left with the mental stains of their failures or accomplishments, thus limiting your mental visual to their experience. Some things are better left unsaid. Don’t allow someone to volunteer information unsolicited because they may not tell you what you need to hear and may set you up for failure.